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Mental Health Needs of Youth Processed in Juvenile vs. Adult Court

1. Automatic transfers exclude juveniles from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court solely on the basis of:

A. The type of offense.

B. Criminal history.

C. The age of the youth.

D. All of the above.


2. All of the following are disadvantages for transferred youth, except for:

A. They often wait substantially longer for their cases to be adjudicated than youth who remain in the juvenile system.

B. They are more likely to be released before adjudication than adults in the criminal court system.

C. The conditions often associated with extended detention - separation from loved ones, crowding, and solitary confinement - may increase the risk of suicidal behavior among transferred youth.

D. Once in court, transferred youth face jurors who may be biased against them simply because they are being tried in an adult court. Where it exists, this bias increases the likelihood of a guilty verdict, boosts the jurors’ confidence in the youth’s guilt, and lowers the standard of proof for guilt.


3. Compared with youth processed in juvenile court, significantly more transferred youth are charged with a violent felony, found guilty, and sentenced to prison.

A. True

B. False


4. After controlling for those charged with a violent felony, all of the following have significantly greater odds of being transferred to adult court, except for:

A. Males

B. Youth from racial / ethnic minority groups

C. Younger youth

D. All of the above have significantly greater odds of being transferred to adult court


5. There was found to be a significantly higher prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorder among transferred youth when compared to youth processed in juvenile court.

A. True

B. False


6. Transferred youth who received a prison sentence had significantly greater odds of having:

A. Any disruptive behavior disorder

B. Oppositional defiant disorder

C. Conduct disorder

D. All of the above


7. The specific disorders associated with increased odds for a prison sentence are all of the following, except for:

A. Oppositional defiant disorder

B. Disruptive behavior disorder

C. Substance use disorder

D. All of the above are associated with increased odds for a prison sentence


8. The transfer of youth to adult criminal court should be reserved for the most serious, chronic, and violent offenders.  Clinicians can help to ensure this outcome by determining when and how mitigating psychiatric factors should be considered and which transferred youth may respond best to alternative sentencing.

A. True

B. False


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